The Best Ron Howard Movies Ranked And Where to Watch them

If you're looking for the best Ron Howard movies of all time then here is a definitive list. We rank every movie directed by Ron Howard based on their popularity score from IMDB from best to worst. Click on the ‘see more’ button to find out where to watch them in Australia covering all streaming services. In August 2021 there are 25 films in this list.

List of the Best Movies Directed by Ron Howard In Order of Popularity

  1. A Beautiful Mind
  2. A Beautiful Mind
  3. Rush
  4. Cinderella Man
  5. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years
  6. Frost/Nixon
  7. Apollo 13
  8. Pavarotti
  9. Willow
  10. Parenthood
  11. Solo: A Star Wars Story
  12. In the Heart of the Sea
  13. Hillbilly Elegy
  14. Ransom
  15. Angels & Demons
  16. Backdraft
  17. The Paper
  18. The Da Vinci Code
  19. Far and Away
  20. The Missing
  21. Splash
  22. Gung Ho
  23. Inferno
  24. Edtv
  25. The Dilemma

The top 25 Movies directed by Ron Howard

1. A Beautiful Mind

Rated: PG-13

8.2/10

From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize.

2. A Beautiful Mind

Rated: PG-13

8.2/10

From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John Forbes Nash, Jr. experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. But the handsome and arrogant Nash soon found himself on a painful and harrowing journey of self-discovery. After many years of struggle, he eventually triumphed over his tragedy, and finally - late in life - received the Nobel Prize.

3. Rush

Rated: R

8.1/10

Set against the sexy, glamorous golden age of Formula 1 racing in the 1970s, the film is based on the true story of a great sporting rivalry between handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth), and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Austrian driver Niki Lauda (Bruhl). The story follows their distinctly different personal styles on and off the track, their loves and the astonishing 1976 season in which both drivers were willing to risk everything to become world champion in a sport with no margin for error: if you make a mistake, you die.

4. Cinderella Man

Rated: PG-13

8.0/10

During the Great Depression, a common-man hero, James J. Braddock--a.k.a. the Cinderella Man--was to become one of the most surprising sports legends in history. By the early 1930s, the impoverished ex-prizefighter was seemingly as broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck as much of the rest of the American populace who had hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished, he was unable to pay the bills, the only thing that mattered to him--his family--was in danger, and he was even forced to go on Public Relief. But deep inside, Jim Braddock never relinquished his determination. Driven by love, honor and an incredible dose the ones who are do of grit, he willed an impossible dream to come true. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. However Braddock, fueled by something beyond mere competition, kept winning. Suddenly, the ordinary working man became the mythic athlete. Carrying the hopes and dreams of the disenfranchised on his shoulders, Braddock rocketed through the ranks, until this underdog chose to do the unthinkable: take on the heavyweight champ of the world, the unstoppable Max Baer, renowned for having killed two men in the ring.

5. The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years

Rated: Unrated

7.8/10

In the 1960s, the Beatles exploded on to the public scene, seemingly out of nowhere as the band's formative years of constant performing at home and in Hamburg, and Brian Epstein's grooming, finally paid off beyond their wildest dreams. Accompanying new interviews of the remaining Beatles, their associates and fans as well as archival interviews of the late ones, this film features footage of the heady concert years of 1963 to 66 when the band became a worldwide cultural phenomena topping them all. Furthermore, it also follows how the Fab Four began to change and grow while the excitement of Beatlemania began to sour their lives into an intolerable slog they needed to escape from to become more than what their fans wanted.

6. Frost/Nixon

Rated: R

7.7/10

Writer Peter Morgan's legendary battle between Richard Nixon, the disgraced president with a legacy to save, and David Frost, a jet-setting television personality with a name to make, in the story of the historic encounter that changed both their lives. For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans (as well as a $600,000 fee). Likewise, Frost's team harbored doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted.

7. Apollo 13

Rated: PG

7.6/10

Based on the true story of the ill-fated 13th Apollo mission bound for the moon. Astronauts Lovell, Haise and Swigert were scheduled to fly Apollo 14, but are moved up to 13. It's 1970, and The US has already achieved their lunar landing goal, so there's little interest in this "routine" flight.. until that is, things go very wrong, and prospects of a safe return fade.

8. Pavarotti

Rated: PG-13

7.5/10

Life, works and achievements of opera legend Luciano Pavarotti.

9. Willow

Rated: PG

7.3/10

A baby girl is discovered in a river by Ranon and Mims, the children of Willow Ufgood, a dwarf farmer and magician and the baby girl is taken into the care of Willow's family. But when a terrifying dog-like creature attacks Willow's village, whilst tracking down the baby. Willow consults the village council and the wizard The High Aldwin. The High Aldwin gives Willow a task and Willow leaves the village and embarks on the task to give the baby girl to a responsible person. But Willow soon learns the baby is Elora Danan, the baby girl destined to bring about the downfall of the evil sorceress Queen Bavmorda. Joined by his allies: swordsman Madmartigan, sorceress Fin Raziel and the Brownies Franjean and Rool, Willow takes it upon himself to protect Elora from Queen Bavmorda, who intends to kill Elora and prevent Elora from fulfilling her destiny. And Willow and his allies are pursued by Queen Bavmorda's daughter Sorsha and the evil commander of Queen Bavmorda's army General Kael, whom are searching for Elora and bring her back to Queen Bavmorda's castle, where Queen Bavmorda bids to kill Elora in a ritual and prevent the prophecy of her downfall.

10. Parenthood

Rated: PG-13

7.0/10

The story of the Buckman family and friends, attempting to bring up their children. They suffer/enjoy all the events that occur: estranged relatives, the "black sheep" of the family, the eccentrics, the skeletons in the closet, and the rebellious teenagers.

11. Solo: A Star Wars Story

Rated: PG-13

6.9/10

During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

12. In the Heart of the Sea

Rated: PG-13

6.9/10

In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. But that told only half the story. "In the Heart of the Sea" reveals the encounter's harrowing aftermath, as the ship's surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.

13. Hillbilly Elegy

Rated: R

6.8/10

An urgent phone call pulls a Yale Law student back to his Ohio hometown, where he reflects on three generations of family history and his own future.

14. Ransom

Rated: R

6.7/10

Tom Mullen is a millionaire, he built his fortune by working hard. Along the way he learned how to play the game. He has a great family. One day his son is kidnapped. He is willing to pay the ransom but decides to call in the FBI, who manages to go into his home secretly. When he goes to make the drop something goes wrong. The kidnapper calls him again and reschedules it. On the way Mullen decides not to go and appears on TV saying that the ransom he was going to give to the kidnapper is now a bounty on the kidnapper.

15. Angels & Demons

Rated: PG-13

6.7/10

Following the murder of a physicist, Father Silvano Bentivoglio, a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and a scientist, Vittoria Vetra, are on an adventure involving a secret brotherhood, the Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four altars of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals, and murders each, painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searching for a new very destructive weapon that could kill millions.

16. Backdraft

Rated: R

6.7/10

A rookie firefighter tries to earn the respect of his older brother and other firefighters while taking part in an investigation of a string of arson/murders. This detailed look into the duties and private lives of firemen naturally features widespread pyrotechnics and special effects.

17. The Paper

Rated: R

6.7/10

Henry Hackett is the editor of a New York City tabloid. He is a workaholic who loves his job, but the long hours and low pay are leading to discontent. Also, publisher Bernie White faces financial straits, and has hatchetman Alicia Clark, Henry's nemesis, impose unpopular cutbacks. Henry's wife Martha, a hugely pregnant former reporter of his, is fed up because he has so little time for his family. He is therefore considering an offer from Paul Bladden to edit a paper like the New York Times, which would mean more money, shorter hours, more respectability...but might also be a bit boring for his tastes. But a hot story soon confronts Henry with tough decisions.

18. The Da Vinci Code

Rated: PG-13

6.6/10

Professor Robert Langdon is in Paris on business when he's summoned to The Louvre. A dead body has been found, setting Langdon off on an adventure as he attempts to unravel an ancient code and uncover the greatest mystery of all time.

19. Far and Away

Rated: PG-13

6.6/10

A young man leaves Ireland with his landlord's daughter after some trouble with her father and they dream of owning land at the big give-away in Oklahoma ca. 1893. When they get to the new land, they find jobs and begin saving money. The man becomes a local bare-hands boxer and rides in glory until he is beaten, then his employers steal all the couple's money and they must fight off starvation in the winter and try to keep their dream of owning land alive. Meanwhile, the woman's parents find out where she has gone and have come to the U.S. to find her and take her back.

20. The Missing

Rated: R

6.5/10

In 19th-century New Mexico, a father (Tommy Lee Jones) comes back home, hoping to reconcile with his adult daughter Maggie (Cate Blanchett). Maggie's daughter is kidnapped, forcing father and estranged daughter to work together to get her back.

21. Splash

Rated: PG

6.3/10

Allen Bauer is rescued from drowning as a young boy off Cape Cod by a young mermaid. Years later, he returns to the same location, and once again manages to fall into the sea, and is rescued once more by the mermaid (Allen isn't sure what he has seen and what he has imagined). Using maps from a sunken ship, the mermaid decides to search for Allen in New York City, sprouting legs when her tail dries. On finding Allen, they fall in love, but she has a secret, which will no longer be a secret if she gets her legs wet.

22. Gung Ho

Rated: PG-13

6.3/10

Hunt Stevenson works for a large car manufacturer that has just been bought out by a Japanese firm. Suddenly finding himself having to justify his own job, he's forced to choose between redundancy or the seemingly inhuman Japanese work ethic that the new owners have brought with them.

23. Inferno

Rated: PG-13

6.2/10

Academy Award® winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown's (Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world's population.

24. Edtv

Rated: PG-13

6.1/10

In a Hail Mary move for corporate preservation, the San Francisco based Northwest Broadcasting Corporation launches True TV, a new network which will broadcast the life of an Average Joe or Jane, 24/7 live and thus unedited, the subject chosen signed initially for one month. The project is conceived and led by one of the producers, Cynthia, but her boss, NWBC president Whitaker, will take the credit if it succeeds, and let her sink as the captain of the ship if it fails. The network is rebranded EdTV when Cynthia believes she's found her subject, Ed Pekurny, a native Texas hayseed, who fits the two main criteria that she is looking for in the person: he is easy on the eyes, and he has what seems to be a potential trainwreck of a life in that he he is thirty-one years old, spends most of his time hanging out at the bar, and has no ambition beyond his longtime dead end job as a clerk in a video store. Ed did not actively campaign for the job - his blowhard of a brother Ray was the one who played to the cameras when Cynthia's team was looking for subjects - but ultimately decided to do it after discussing it with those close to him, namely his immediately family of his mother, stepfather, and two siblings. After a slow start and despite some people associated with Ed hamming it up to the cameras in wanting their fifteen minutes of fame or more, Ed becomes enough of a toast to the TV watching public for the network to become a success. However, having the cameras rolling during certain times may not be the most advantageous for those directly involved, especially as someone from Ed's distant past reenters his life, and an issue with regard to Ray's relationship with his current girlfriend, a UPS delivery person named Shari who if Ed was being honest would admit that he is attracted to himself. Other issues that eventually do emerge is Ed and those around him using the cameras as a convenient excuse for things that happen, and as Whitaker, against Cynthia's wants as the moves being totally self-serving, begins to manipulate Ed to make EdTV more salacious TV viewing.

25. The Dilemma

Rated: PG-13

5.3/10

A man finds out that what you don't say to a friend is just as important as what you do is this story of how far you can bend a brotherly bond before it snaps. Since college, confirmed bachelor Ronny (Vaughn) and happily married Nick (James) have been through thick and thin. Now partners in an auto design firm, the two pals are vying to land a dream project that would launch their company. Ronny's girlfriend, Beth (Connelly), and Nick's wife, Geneva (Ryder), are by their sides. But Ronny's world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees Geneva out with another man and makes it his mission to get answers. As the amateur investigation dissolves into mayhem, he learns that Nick has a few secrets of his own. Now, with the clock ticking and pressure mounting on the biggest presentation of their careers, Ronny must decide what will happen if he reveals the truth to his best friend.